Admirals down Blenheim 5-2 in Game 2 to tie semi-final series

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The Great Lakes Jr. C Hockey League semi-final between the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals and the Blenheim Blades is now even at one game apiece after Amherstburg’s win Thursday night.

The Admirals were powered by a Ryan Alexander hat trick in a 5-2 victory at the Libro Centre. Two of Alexander’s goals came in the first period and sandwiched a Luke Gangnon power play goal. Amherstburg led 3-0 after one period.

The game tightened in the second period as Blenheim’s Kirk McKillop and Dustin Maines made it a 3-2 game but Alexander’s third of the night with 4:07 to play and an empty net goal from Broden Meloche put the game away for the Admirals.

“It was a good game, a hard fought game,” said Alexander.

Alexander was unsure if the team had “road legs” in the first game of the series, a 4-3 Blenheim overtime win Tuesday night, but he said the came out hard in Game 2. The team had won four straight heading into the first game but the team rebounded from the loss as Alexander noted it is tough to keep winning streaks going.

As for his hat trick, Alexander was modest about the accomplishment.

Admirals forward Ryan Alexander scores his third goal of the game on Blenheim goalie Eric Stewardson during the third period of Amherstburg's 5-2 win in Game 2 of their semi-final series Feb. 25.

Admirals forward Ryan Alexander scores his third goal of the game on Blenheim goalie Eric Stewardson during the third period of Amherstburg’s 5-2 win in Game 2 of their semi-final series Feb. 25.

“I’ve got a great line and great teammates behind me,” he said.

The team had a “tough” second period, he added, but bounced back in the third and finished the job.

“It was a huge win for us,” said Alexander. “If we got down 2-0 going back to their barn, who knows what could have happened?”

The plan will remain the same going into Game 3, he said, as the Admirals will look to come out strong and bury Blenheim if given the opportunity.

Admirals head coach Paul Bortignon believed the team had a better overall effort Tuesday night in the game they lost. He said Thursday’s first period was a “five star” performance but the team didn’t play as well in the second period.

“It’s a playoff win,” said Bortignon.

The team played with five defenseman in each of the first two games, he noted, but gave themselves a chance to win both.

“We’re doing our part to give ourselves a chance to win,” said Bortignon.

The Admirals have to win at least one on the road this series and Bortignon said there’s “no better time than Saturday.”

“We feel we should be up 2-0 but 1-1 is not a bad spot to be in after two games,” he added.

Saturday night’s Game 3 starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Blenheim Memorial Arena. The two teams are back in Amherstburg Sunday night for a 7 p.m. start.

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